Composer Nikhil Kamath, along with partner Vinay Tiwari, had worked with lyricist Anand Bakshi on a couple of projects. On the lyricist’s 90th birth anniversary, the composer shares his memories of working with him.
‘Agniputra’ (2000) was the first film in which Vinay and you collaborated with Anand Bakshi. Did you approach Anand Bakshi to write for this particular film?
We always wanted to work with Anand Bakshi sahab but never got the opportunity to do so. We did not know him personally. For ‘Agniputra’, the producer approached Bakshi sahab to write the lyrics. The financer of the film was Darshan Sabharwal, a prominent distributor who also happens to be the father of Suneel and Dharmesh Darshan. I think he might have spoken to him too. It was a huge honour for us to get an opportunity to work with him. At that time, a lot of emphasis was laid on the situation while creating the songs. We locked the various situations or points during which songs will be played and after that, we started having music sittings at Bakshi sahab’s house every day. There were songs of different moods in the film. We had a great time working with him on this project.
After that, you worked with him on the private album ‘Kuch Dil Ne Kaha’.
Yes, we worked very hard on the music of the film and it shaped up pretty well. ‘Kuch Dil Ne Kaha’ was supposed to be a film but for some reason, T-Series decided not to go ahead with it as a film project. They shot the songs and released the music as a private album. Most of the songs from the album turned out to be huge hits and are popular even today.
There was also a song in ‘Aap Ko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai’. The film released a couple of months after he had passed away. Was the song originally recorded for ‘Kuch Dil Ne Kaha’?
Yes, you are right. ‘Barsaat’ was recorded for ‘Kuch Dil Ne Kaha’ but did not make it to the album. Since T-Series was producing ‘Aap Ko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai’, they decided to use that song in the film.
As a composer, what, do you think, was Anand Bakshi’s biggest strength as a lyricist?
Bakshi sahab was a very intelligent man. He used to understand the situation very well. He was always an important part of the decision making process. A tune would not be approved if he did not like it. His approval mattered a lot to us. Bakshi sahab used to have his paan, sit on the floor and write songs. He was an extremely humble person. He was a very spontaneous writer. He was very fast and would write songs quickly. Many lyricists prefer working on a song for days. Bakshi sahab was not like that. He would hear the tune and write the lyrics then and there.
Is there any particular incident, related to Anand Bakshi, that you fondly remember?
When we were working on ‘Kuch Dil Ne Kaha’, I requested Bakshi sahab to come for the recording. We cherished every moment of working with him and wanted him to be with us during the recording sessions as well. Bakshi sahab told me he never attends the recording session of any his films. One day, as we were about to start recording a song, Bakshi sahab dropped in to the studio. I was surprised to see him as he had made it clear that he does not attend recording sessions. He looked at me with a smile and said “aap ka dil nahin dukhana tha mujhe”.